Friday, December 9, 2016

Four Jewelry Box Essentials - Part 3 of 3

Wondering what to get her this Christmas?  We're counting down the final four in our 12  jewelry box essentials every woman should have.  Today, it's all about wrists--

#9 - Statement Bracelet 
     Diamond line bracelets are the perfect milestone gift and are often passed from generation to generation.  A wide bangle or cuff, as shown here from Stephen Estelle, is another clean statement look.

#10 - Stackable Bracelets
They're everywhere! And if you choose smartly, she’ll be able to wear them for decades to come.  Avoid “mystery metal” which can cause skin problems and generally cannot be repaired because a jeweler has no matching metal with which to solder it.  Instead, go with gold or sterling-- like this ELLE bracelet.

#11 - Dress/Work Watch
Dress watches tend to be a bit sleeker and smaller than their chunkier casual counterparts.  This Eco-Drive light-powered watch from Citizen features floating diamonds and never needs a battery. 


     #12 - Sport/Casual Watch
     Today’s hot watch look is oversized.  Women are even buying themselves men’s watches to get the desired scale.  The timepiece shown is from Reactor, the world’s toughest performance watch—great for active women.

Hope we cut down on your browsing time so you can spend more of it celebrating the holidays.  Cheers!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Five Jewelry Box Essentials - Part 2 of 3

Today, in an effort to help you zoom in on a great gift idea, we'll cover jewelry essentials for necks and fingers!  ("For ears, check out Jewelry Box Essentials - Part 1.")  Does your loved one have these?--
#4 Diamond Solitaire Pendant
Perfect for her 18th or 21st birthday—or any birthday thereafter!  A simple diamond solitaire pendant is a great gift she’ll never forget.  This gift would be an unforgettable gesture from loved ones for a soon-to-be bride.  To celebrate her first “real” job after graduation.  To commemorate a big promotion.

#5 Strand of Pearls
Pearls are experiencing a resurgence on the runways right now, especially layered and with casual wear.  Traditionally the classic pearl strand was made of Akoya pearls; today, freshwater cultured pearls are another budget-friendly option.  Just make sure you get a comfortable length. 

#6 Everyday Necklace
A short necklace that sits on or just below the clavicle bones is great with open necklines and unbuttoned shirts.  Go for 16-20” depending upon her build.  This might be a simple chain, a station necklace with gemstones every 2 inches, a small disk necklace with her initial, or a bar necklace such as the one shown here from Gabriel NY.

#7 Long Necklace
Maybe its popularity  is due to the slimming effect of this style. There are so many choices—with a tassel or oversized pendant, station-style like this ELLE necklace, in pearls or beaded gemstones.  The choices go on and on.  Long necklaces, 30” & up, are great alone or layered.  If you go a bit longer, she can use a shortener which creates several looks by turning a single strand into a double or triple strand anytime to fit her fashion.

#8 Right Hand Ring
Nothing expresses confidence like a large gemstone ring such as this kunzite & diamond one by our in-house jeweler Craig Brady.  If she’s not into the chunkiness of a large gemstone on her hand, wearing multiple smaller scale rings is also in style.   Either way, it’s best to know her ring size before purchasing but if not, make sure the style you picked out can be resized. 

Hope this has sparked some gift ideas for the ladies in your life.  "Jewelry Essentials Part 3" coming soon!  Happy holidays!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Three Jewelry Box Essentials - Part 1 of 3

Wondering what to get her this Christmas?  Unlike most other gifts, fine jewelry is treasured for years, even decades, or generations.  To simplify your shopping, use our three-part checklist to identify what’s missing from her jewelry collection.   Today we'll tackle earrings!

1. Diamond Studs
Classic and versatile, these sparklers can go from jeans to bridal gown. And you can get them in sizes and diamond grade to fit most budgets.  These are heirloom jewelry that will get a lifetime of wear and can even be handed down to the next generation. 

2. Pearl Studs
For the more conservative woman or the more conservative career path, pearl studs are perfect when you just don’t want naked earlobes!  Again, you can dress them up or down. Go for Akoya white, Tahitian black or more funky with colored freshwater pearls. Available in gold or sterling silver for any budget, pearls are experiencing a huge surge on the runways right now.

3. Hoops
Whether they’re plain gold, sterling silver or paved with diamonds, hoops never go out of style.  Just be sure to choose the size that fits her style and stature. Modern choices include various versions of warped and accented hoops, but first she should have a classic circular pair.

She has these already?  Stay tuned for Part 2 of Jewelry Box Essentials...

Friday, November 18, 2016

The World of Pearls

Oyster nets on a pearl farm in Tahiti.
Akoya. Tahitian. South Sea. Oh my...  Pearls come into the world naturally radiant, unlike other gemstones which are cut and polished to reveal their beauty.  A cultured pearl is the beautiful outcome of a mollusk's reaction to adversity.  Nacre, the smooth crystalline substance the mollusk secretes to cover a foreign irritant in its shell, accumulates layer upon layer-- resulting in one of Mother Nature's miracles.

Pearl quality is determined by luster, surface, shape, color and size.  Obviously, it's best to consult a reputable, professional jeweler to guide you in making a choice, but let's get you started by breaking down types of pearls--

Classic Akoya pearls.
Complimenting a wedding gown.  Punctuating a business suit.  Finishing formal wear.  Akoya pearls are the timeless white strand we all think of when we hear "pearls," but they are also available in a golden hue.  Generally round, Akoyas are known for their intense brilliant luster. Cultivated in Japan, China and Vietnam, their size is usually in the 3-10mm range. 

Gorgeous South Sea pearls
South Sea
Worn by sophisticated women, South Sea pearls make a statement of success.  To reach their exceptional size of 8-18+mm, they grow for years inside the world's largest oysters (the silver-lipped Pinctada maxima) in the sheltered bays of Australia, Indonesia, Myanmar and the Philippines. Often it takes years more to complete a well-matched strand of white or golden South Sea pearls.
Stunning Tahitian pearls.
Dramatic and mysterious, Tahitian pearls are sexy.  The colors are a natural wonder created by the black-lipped Pinctada margaritifera pearl oyster, native to the blue lagoons of French Polynesia, South Pacific, Cook Islands and Fiji.  In blacks and grays, each Tahitian pearl has its own pistachio, aubergine or blue iridescence-- giving it a unique beauty.  Size is usually in the 8-17mm range.
Today's Freshwater pearls.

Today, women create their own trademark style by layering Freshwater pearls which offer a great variety of shapes beyond round such as coin, seed, rice, baroque, ringed...   Grown in the United States, Japan and China, Freshwater pearls offer a full color palette including pink, orange, lavender and white. And they are generally available in 1-14mm sizes. Although the most affordable cultured pearl, quality Freshwater pearls start with the smallest bead and accumulate the thickest nacre. Thicker nacre gives greater dimension to the pearl's luster because of the depth through which light can refract.

Scenic Polynesian pearl farm life.
Regardless of color, pearls are green.  Requiring pristine conditions to cultivate these beauties, pearl farms have zero negative ecological impact on the Earth's waters.  Furthermore, the pearl industry provides thousands of jobs enabling local farmers, sorters, stringers to support their families.  So in addition to their beauty, they're a great choice for socially responsible consumers.

Thanks to Cultured Pearl Association of America, Inc. for some of this info and Imperial Pearl for photos.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Trending: Custom Designed Engagement Rings

Getting engaged? Haven't found exactly the right ring? Many couples today are focusing on personalization, seeking out custom-made rings rather than prefabricated. You might think this option is out of your budget, but it just takes some smart shopping to avoid costly pitfalls and get that one-of-a-kind engagement ring.

At a mall store or national chain, you generally interact with a salesperson, never meeting with whomever is making your ring. In this case, you're putting your faith in the middleman to convey your wishes accurately, as well as in the anonymous jeweler to do quality work. Furthermore, it's likely the salesperson is paid on commission and therefore has incentive to sell at the highest price. That's a lot of faith in strangers for such an important decision.

Valley Jewelers owner Craig Brady comments "I am completely redoing a ring right now for a new customer who had her ring made by a national jeweler. It's a mess. When she complained to them, she got nowhere. Now, this couple is eating the cost of the first ring and we're starting over. Even the diamonds were sub par."

At an independent jewelry store like Valley Jewelers, you can work directly with the designer who will be creating your ring. In this case, you can also check out his/her portfolio of work so you know the level of craftsmanship you'll be getting. Don't let the small storefront fool you. Independent jewelers with diamond-buying group affiliations offer the best of combination of personal service, quality workmanship and huge diamond inventory availability. It's another example of how buying local is best.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Diamonds Are Forever; Jewelry Not Necessarily.

Increasingly consumers are opting to upcycle their gemstones and precious metals into fresh pieces, rather than leaving the outdated jewelry to waste at the bottom of their jewelry box. There are many reasons why restyling jewelry has been growing in popularity: economics, resource conservation, and sentimentality to name a few.

For a fraction of the cost of buying new, a master jeweler can transform a worn-out piece into something that better suits its current owner. Through custom design, a goldsmith creates a one-of-a-kind heirloom owners can wear proudly now-- as well as pass down to family members. Meanwhile, precious materials have been recycled and, in many cases, the loved one from whom the original jewelry came is honored and remembered.
"We have a makeover event 2-3 times a year during which you can have your own gemstones from old jewelry reset into new pieces. Or you can select new gemstones from our diamond and colored gemstone collections to replace missing ones from pieces you love," explains Craig Brady, owner/jeweler of Valley Jewelers.

"Our designers will aid you in finding the appropriate gemstone or setting and our expert craftsmen will fashion your jewelry while you watch." Brady adds that he works with clients all the time to repair, restore and recycle jewelry, but only at the makeover events do people have the opportunity to watch the work being done.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Free Fall Jewelry Cleaning!

Sunscreen, moisturizers & hair products mask jewelry with a dull film and hide their true beauty. Stop by our showroom, have something cold to drink on us and browse a bit while we freshen up your treasures. In just a few minutes, your item will be SPARKLING! Now until Saturday, October 17th-- excluding 9/19. Limit 1 item per person.

Why not Saturday, 9/19? Because it's Upper Montclair's Annual Sidewalk Sale Day! Don't miss 50% reductions on 100's of items!